Bill Bryson

From Academic Kids

Bill Bryson (born December 8,1951) is a best-selling American author of humorous books on travel, as well as books on the English language and on scientific subjects. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he was educated at Drake University but dropped out in August 1973 while on vacation in England. Bryson then began working in a psychiatric hospital in Virginia Water, Surrey. Here he met his English wife, a hospital nurse, and they settled in England in 1977, remaining there until 1995. Living in North Yorkshire and mainly working as a journalist, he eventually became chief copy editor of the business section of The Times and then deputy national news editor of the business section of The Independent. He left journalism in 1987. Bryson returned to live in the United States in 1995, residing in Hanover, New Hampshire for some years. In 2003, however, Bryson and his family returned to England, where they now live once again.

In 2003, in conjunction with World Book Day, voters in England chose Bryson's book Notes From a Small Island as the book that best sums up England's identity and the state of the nation.

In 2004, Bryson won the prestigious Aventis Prize for best general science book with A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Bryson has also written two works on the history of the English language, The Mother Tongue and Made In America, and, more recently, an update of his guide to usage, Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words (published in its first edition as The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words in 1983). These books were popularly acclaimed and well-reviewed, though they received criticism from academics in the field, who claimed they contained factual errors, urban myths, and folk etymologies. Though Bryson has no formal linguistics qualifications, he is a popular and generally well-regarded writer on the subject of languages.

In 2005, Bryson was appointed Chancellor of the University of Durham, a city he had praised as "a perfect little city" in his book Notes from a Small Island.



Books on travel

  • The Palace Under the Alps and Over 200 Other Unusual, Unspoiled, and Infrequently Visited Spots in 16 European Countries (1985)
  • The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America (1989)
  • Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe (1993)
  • Notes from a Small Island (1995) (travels in the United Kingdom, adapted for television by Carlton Television in 1998)
  • A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (1997)
  • I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away (US Edition) / Notes From a Big Country (UK Edition) (1998, columns about moving back to the USA)
  • In a Sunburned Country (US edition) / Down Under (UK edition) (2000, travels in Australia)
  • Bill Bryson's African Diary (2002, travels in Africa)

Books on language

Books on science

External link


Preceded by:
Sir Peter Ustinov
Chancellor of the University of Durham
Followed by:
Current incumbent
de:Bill Bryson

eo:Bill BRYSON


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